It's no secret that while home improvement is somewhat exciting to me, it's not something I'm particularly good at. When things go smoothly, it's all good. It makes me happy. When things don't go well, it bruises my ego and I get completely frustrated. This is a lesson I learned more than two years ago when I started updating the house in Brunswick.
Still, as so much of those improvements involved lighting, when a friend asked me to help mount a light, I was confident and figured it would go smoothly and easily. Been there, done that, I thought.
I was wrong.
Things didn't go smoothly, mostly because in this situation we were mounting a light to a spot where there used to be a fan. Fans have these big plastic half-cylinders mounted on to the joists or beams, whereas lights tend to have a recessed box that isn't designed to hold as much weight. The boxes allow for all kinds of wiggle room for bracket spacing and screw length. The fan mounts don't... they're nearly flush. This was the source of much angst that eventually prevented me from getting the light up. In this case, there was no hardware store or convenient Home Depot nearby to get more appropriate screws. Drilling around to make recessed holes (to give the screws room to adjust) wasn't really possible either because of the position of the joist.
The timing is interesting because we will at some point be doing some work at our new house (again, provided everything goes OK with the mortgage). There is one light to add in the kitchen fairly quickly, and I suspect we'll consider fans in certain rooms at some point before summer. At least in this case we're dealing with a virgin house, and I've seen everything (and photographed it) before the drywall. I don't anticipate any real surprises.
I suppose home improvement is easier when you have more experience with it. I've owned only one other house, and it was new when I moved in. Everything else was a rental where I didn't have to do the work. Still, I think I would enjoy it if I wasn't so easily frustrated by it.